Slow Cooker Italian Beef is rich and delicious and better still takes just three ingredients: a chuck roast, an onion, and a jar of peperoncini. The crock pot does the rest. A few unattended hours later and you’ll be ready to make a pile of Italian beef sandwiches, even better tan the ones at Gold Coast Dogs at the Midway Airport food court.
Open-faced Italian beef sams are just as good, like this:
What a wondrous kitchen appliance, the crock pot. “Crock Pot” probably gets more hits than “costume malfunction.” As it should. Efficient, reliable, predictable, controllable, cleanable, storable. Maybe one day the manufacturers’ “wrap-around graphics divisions” will step up and design an array of focus group-approved graphics that, like most mass-produced consumer products today, will really allow us express our individualism.
So what’s cooking in the Bobby Labonte NASCAR crock pot now? Our latest jag continues the barbecue theme with another “sour meat.” Consider the many ways that vinegar or an acid like lemon juice is used to marinate, tenderize, and otherwise compliment beef, pork, and poultry. Italian dressing might be the most popular. Sales at Wishbone and Kraft surely sky-rocketed in the 80s when we brined our chicken breasts in the bottled dressing before throwing them on the grill in a fiery blaze. And the vinegar “sour” connection with meat goes way beyond that, way beyond a soy sauce marinade or a Mexican mojo for flank and skirt steak.
Let’s face facts, pulled pork without a peppery vinegary dousing can offer notes of dirty socks. German sauerbraten recipes soak a rump roast in a spiced vinegar solution for days. Filipino Chicken Adobo cooked in soy and coconut vinegar is a national dish. Now we can add Peperoncini Chuck Roast, among the most satisfying three ingredient slow cooker recipes around.
It’s simple – beyond the great tangy flavor, the vinegar cuts through the fatty taste of rich meat cuts and tenderizes the tougher cuts nicely. Think of it as Italian barbecue and pile it on big crusty rolls.
One jar of peperoncini with the juice and one sliced onion into the Bobby Labonte:
After a good night’s sleep or a day at work, the peperoncini stems fall right out and the chuck falls right apart:
- 1 medium onion, cut into wedges
- 1 jar (16 ounces) peperoncini
- 1 chuck roast, about 4 pounds
- Scatter the onion in the bottom of a large (5 or 6 quart) slow cooker. Add the peperoncini and all the juice in the jar. Place the chuck roast over the vegetables. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high 5 to 6 hours.
- After cooking the stems on the peperoncini are very easy to remove.
- Shred the meat with a couple forks and serve with the juices, onion, and peperoncini on crusty hard rolls.
- Occasionally we add a couple tablespoons of liquid smoke to the recipe. Use crispy rolls or baguettes. Pile on the meat. Add slices of provolone and melt under the broiler.